American Girl is cutting staff. Eleven jobs were eliminated Tuesday in Wisconsin, 13 in Los Angeles, and more positions could end this summer, spokeswoman Julie Parks said. There were no layoffs in Chicago, the company said.
Ten employees at the Middleton headquarters and one at the distribution and call center in Wilmot, in Kenosha County, lost their jobs. The company sells dolls, accessories and books.
American Girl also plans to end a job-sharing agreement with John Deere Financial in Madison. Since 1999, workers who handled customer service and processed orders for American Girl’s dolls, books and accessories during the busy fall and winter months worked for John Deere Financial during its heavy season in the spring and summer.
“It’s been a really successful working relationship, but there’s been a steady decline in (John Deere Financial’s) need for our staff over the years,” Parks said.
At its peak, as many as 60 employees were splitting time between the two companies; now, there are 22. “The relationship is no longer viable for American Girl,” Parks said. She said the company will try to manage some of the job loss through attrition and early retirements. It will be late August before it’s clear if any layoffs will occur.
Also Tuesday, 13 full-time positions at American Girl’s Los Angeles store were cut; some of the workers instead will be offered part-time jobs.
American Girl’s revenues were up 5 percent in 2010 over the previous year and rose 8 percent in the fourth quarter, according to earnings reported in February by parent company Mattel.
“All of our stores continue to perform well,” Parks said. But costs for labor, commodities and overhead are rising faster for Mattel overall, she said.